(NewsNation) — A pilot ejected from an F-35 fighter jet before it crashed Wednesday near a runway on an Air Force base in Utah, military officials said.
The crash occurred around 6:15 p.m. local time at Hill Air Force Base north of Salt Lake City. The jet was being flown by a pilot in the 388th Fighter Wing, according to the unit’s Twitter page.
The pilot was taken to a “local medical center” for observation, the 388th Fighter Wing said. The cause of the crash was under investigation.
Photos on social media showed a cloud of smoke in the air that could be seen from some distance. The crash sparked an 8-10 acre fire, according to state officials.
The F-35 is a jet used by the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy and has a multipurpose design. The military plans to buy thousands of the jets to replace the F-16 and A-10 in the Air Force, as well as other aircraft in the Marines and Navy.